Severe Roll Over Accident, 8 days Ago
(north east UK)
Hi I was a passanger in a car accident 8days ago, The car lost control hit a double sign post at 70MPH impact was on my side of the car, the car flipped over and rolled over at least 3 times and also landed on my side. Thankfully we were both able to climb out of the wreckage with cuts and bruises. At the time I felt uninjured apart from neck and shoulder pain (prob due to adrenaline) the ambulance strapped us to spinal boards with neck braces.
They xrayed my spine and neck, about 20mins after I started to feel the pain, my left side had been badly crushed, my shoulder and neck instantly came up in bruises, all down my side and my leg was swollen massively in 2 areas and also my ankle is swollen. A lump came up on the back of my head on the left side.(afterI left the hospital)Also my whole spine was painfull when touched.
They gave me morphine and anti sickness and sent me home with diclofenac 50mg and codeine phosphate 2 30mg every 4 hours. They explained that my injuries would feel worse over the next week but its been 8 days and I still am in agony with my shoulder and neck, i get waves of getting a temp and feeling really sickly all the time. All I want to do is sleep but cant get comfortable, Im very irritable and just feel like crying all the time. I often wake up having a panic attack during the night re living the accident. How long does it normally take for these kind of injuries to start to feel better? Any help would be great.
Hi there, Michelle here...
Dear Milly, wow. I am so glad to hear you were able to “walk” away from your severe accident. This one was massive. I am going to do my best to give you advice and some things to read about in hopes it helps you out!!
First, the hospital is WRONG!!! Yes in one week you will likely feel worse than you did at the moment of the accident, but NO it will not then start to get better. For an accident of this severity you are going to be in pain likely for quite awhile. I do not want to be negative nor create worry for you.
However, I always believe in telling patients the truth and telling it straight. If you don’t want to know, skip this paragraph! Ready? Your report of your injuries, and my experience I would say you are going to be in significant pain for 3 months easy, and very uncomfortable for another 3, and probably won’t feel like yourself for closer to a year.
That is a wicked amount of time, but you have A LOT of injuries and your hospital seems to have missed some vital stuff.
1. Please make an appointment immediately with a local medical doctor. You should not be getting a temperature, and you may have something going on. This is a GO TO THE DOCTOR RIGHT THIS MINUTE kind of advice. I am also going to email you to make sure you get this. Right now. Go to the doctor.
2. When you are at the doctor she or he will need to check out your ankle and your swollen leg, they need to examine your lump on your head to see what is going on there, I am guessing you have a concussion.
3. You need REST REST REST. And a lot of it. Please after you go back to the doctor, rest. As often as you can lay down. Use ice where it hurts then lay down. And then, more laying down. Its not fun, but healing takes a ton of energy, and when you are injured you need to restore yourself and rest is the key.
When you get overtired, which can be so easy to do, you will find yourself extremely fragile, and either get irritable or you will want to cry or bonus, both things.
4. Ice. And then More Ice. If it hurts ice. Ice is good for swelling, reduces pain, helps your body heal. Ice.
5. AFTER and ONLY AFTER you have seen your medical doctor, please see a chiropractor. You will need to take any treatment slowly as it hurts it sounds like everywhere.
Your chiropractor will recommend some physio-therapy likely. GO SLOW. If it hurts back off the therapy a bit, slow it down. This is NOT a time for “more pain- more gain”. This is a time to go easy and slow and rest.
6. It’s normal to feel traumatized after such a massive accident and injury. You are experiencing really normal and healthy responses to this event. You are in a lot of pain, its difficult for you to rest deeply because everything hurts so of course you are then over tired which makes having any reserves for emotional stuff lower or even empty. When you see your doctor tell her or him you are having panic at night.
YOU DO NOT NEED MEDICATION FOR THIS! A good doctor will recommend someone for you to talk to who can work with your trauma and your stress and help you cope and this will help you ease off the tremendous fear this event caused.
Medication will simply mask your symptoms and will not help you get over them. Take your time, give yourself a break, you are doing sooo well after something so massive happened in your life. What you are feeling may also be related to your head injury.
7. When your doctor sees you hopefully she or he will talk to you about the injury to your head and whether you need to see a neurologist.
This is a ton of information and I am sure it sounds really stressful and fearful... but what you are describing to me sounds fixable, very fixable, meaning I believe you will recover COMPELETLY from ALL your injuries, including the likely concussion.
So please, trust that you will recover, and just make some doctor visits happen so you can get the care you need right away.
8. You can add comments to this page with questions, or to update me on how you are doing and what your doc says, if you wish... I would love to hear what your doc says...Be well. Rest is your friend.
Best Regards, M.